Rug Design Collaboration: Story of Jade Purple Brown and Sonya Winner

We are delighted to present you the latest addition to our Vibrant Contemporary collection, created in a cross-continent rug design collaboration with visionary New York graphic designer Jade Purple Brown. The new rug combines Sonya’s colour expertise with Jade’s bold visuals to create an ambitious and unique design. But how did this global venture go from idea to creation?

How the cross-continent collaboration began for The Wave rug design

Thanks to her belief of always seeking inspiration, Sonya has never been starved for creative ideas, usually having three or four new rug designs in development.

“Inspiration fills my senses, travels down to my hands and pours itself out in elaborate sketches that later become my designs.”

When on her search for bold, new creatives, Sonya stumbled upon a graphic illustrator whose work she became an instant fan of. That illustrator was Jade Purple Brown.

“I knew immediately that this was someone who appreciated the use of vibrant colours, just like I do. Jade’s work was so stark that I couldn’t forget it.”

A few (then even more) Instagram likes later and Sonya was convinced that Jade could create an excellent rug with her eye for ingenious designs constructed from simple shapes.

After Sonya reached out to her, Jade said: “The way we both use color and shape instantly connected us together and I was thrilled when Sonya said she would love to collaborate. Both of our artistic visions are so intertwined. I knew this collaboration would be a match made in heaven.”

Rug Design Collaboration - The Wave

How their differences made for a perfect partnership

Jade Purple Brown: Story of an artist in New York

Jade graduated with a Fashion Marketing and Management degree from the Illinois Institution of Art, entering the corporate beauty world as a digital designer. But she always dreamed of branching out on her own so she worked hard on her own projects, getting up at 5am and working late into the night to achieve that. Eventually, Jade built up her clientele and skills, breaking away to pursue her freelance goals, leading her to work with companies like Google, Nike, Tampax and Squarespace.

Jade’s illustrations centre around showing the power in femininity, particularly showing black women in a position of strength through their individuality. Her inspiration comes from the world around her, while her style inspiration is drawn from the 1970s.

“I love collecting 70’s interior design books for inspiration. The over-the-top colorful palettes, quirky motifs, and the overall carefree attitude of the 70s excites me, and those are elements that I like to bring into my work. I also love people watching the New York city streets. The mix of different personalities and styles easily translate to my illustration work, inspiring me to create characters that are bold and unique.”  Jade said in an interview with Design Milk.

Jade Purple Brown Illustrations

Sonya Winner: Story of a designer in London

Like Jade, Sonya did not enter her current field through traditional means. Having trained as a graphic designer, Sonya worked on cooperate branding, trying to pursue her passion for art and design that has been passed down from her grandfather, who was at the forefront of colour printing technology, and her father, who was an artist.Design Collaboration - Sonya Winner and Jade Purple Brown

Sonya’s first foray into rug designing came from a friend asking her to design a rug to celebrate the anniversary of a modern furniture store. That rug was the After Matisse and it was an instant hit. Shortlisted for an Elle Decoration award and subsequently featured in many press articles around the world, the utterly unique rug amassed hundreds of inquiries.

Deciding that rug design would be the ideal way to explore her passion for colour and modern, timeless design, Sonya set up her own studio which was at the helm of the e-commerce movement being one of the first stores to sell over the internet.

Sonya said: “I’ve come at it from a different angle, which is why my designs are shapes of their own.

“When creating, I got to a place in my imagination that allows ideas to flow, mistakes to occur, playfulness to creep in and a space where there is freedom for magic to happen.”

Rug Designer Sonya Winner

How they designed together, thousands of miles apart

What started as a simple message over Instagram, grew into online calls, with Jade spearheading the design’s aesthetic while Sonya ensured that the bold colours and striking curves would be translated into a digital canvas that could be followed by GoodWeave artisan weavers to hand weave the rug.

Their expertises allowed for a new approach to rug design, creating a piece that is incomparable to anything else, much like Sonya’s first rug design or Jade’s progressive work in the illustration field.

Their visions came together to make a unique rug

Sonya and Jade purposefully created a piece that would completely transform any space, bringing a sense of excitement and joy through the radical use of colour and fluid curves, inspired by the 1970s graphic style.

These rugs are a masterclass in demonstrating the modernisation of a traditional industry, with patterns that re-invent the usual rules of design by breaching established borders. Combined with vibrant colours, these rugs blur the lines between functional furniture and floor art. You can see more about it here.